A 35-year-old Gatineau man is facing five weapons-related charges, including possessing explosives with the intent to endanger life, after a homemade bomb was discovered during a routine traffic stop in Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood.

Chad Baillargeon, a big burley man who has a shaved head and several tattoos, stood with his arms crossed as he made his first court appearance Thursday afternoon on an unrelated outstanding arrest warrant.

He is now charged with:

  • Unlawful possession of an explosive substance with the intent to endanger life;
  • Unlawful possession of an explosive substance;
  • Possessing a weapon dangerous to public peace;
  • Possessing incendiary material for arson;
  • Possessing an explosive substance while prohibited.

Ottawa police have asked the court for three more days to investigate the case. Baillargeon will next appear in court by video remand on Monday.

It's not the first time Baillargeon has been in trouble with the law. Court documents show he has an extensive criminal record that includes break and enter, firearms and weapons offences. He is also under a 10-year order not to own any weapons.

Baillargeon has no fixed address. His last known address lists an empty parking lot in Gatineau; another past listing shows an address that doesn't even exist.

A longtime friend who attended Thursday's court hearing told CTV Ottawa that Baillargeon is a good person who was trying to turn his life around.

"To the world, he's a good person, just like everyone else. And he's been dealt whatever in life," said the friend, who last saw Baillargeon in November.

"I've been through the ringer. I've straightened my life out. He was trying to do that, but he hit a bump and from that bump -- look what happened."

Baillargeon was taken into custody Tuesday night after police stopped his car and allegedly discovered an improvised explosive device dismantled in bits and pieces in the trunk.

Police say his demeanor prompted them to search the car after it was stopped at Third Avenue and Chrysler Street. A male passenger who was in the vehicle at the time of the incident was let go.

Police say the neighbourhood was not at risk of the bomb going off and area residents were never forced to leave their homes.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact police at 613-236-1222, ext. 5309 or Crime Stoppers at 613-233-8477.

With a report from CTV Ottawa's Joanne Schnurr